Abiotic Stress Signaling and Responses in Plants

Cell. 2016 Oct 6;167(2):313-324. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.08.029.


As sessile organisms, plants must cope with abiotic stress such as soil salinity, drought, and extreme temperatures. Core stress-signaling pathways involve protein kinases related to the yeast SNF1 and mammalian AMPK, suggesting that stress signaling in plants evolved from energy sensing. Stress signaling regulates proteins critical for ion and water transport and for metabolic and gene-expression reprogramming to bring about ionic and water homeostasis and cellular stability under stress conditions. Understanding stress signaling and responses will increase our ability to improve stress resistance in crops to achieve agricultural sustainability and food security for a growing world population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases / genetics
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Chloroplasts / enzymology
  • Cold-Shock Response
  • Crops, Agricultural / enzymology
  • Crops, Agricultural / genetics
  • Crops, Agricultural / physiology*
  • Droughts
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Food Supply
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Heat-Shock Response
  • Mitochondria / enzymology
  • Osmotic Pressure
  • Peroxisomes / enzymology
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Salinity
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stress, Physiological / genetics
  • Stress, Physiological / physiology*


  • SNF1-related protein kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases